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Visual Thinking Strategies (VTS) for Promoting Reflection in Engineering Education: Graduate Student Perceptions

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Conference

2021 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access

Location

Virtual Conference

Publication Date

July 26, 2021

Start Date

July 26, 2021

End Date

July 19, 2022

Conference Session

Socially Responsible Engineering I: Context, Innovation, and Reflection

Tagged Division

Liberal Education/Engineering & Society

Tagged Topic

Diversity

Page Count

19

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/38032

Download Count

77

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Paper Authors

biography

Ryan C. Campbell Texas Tech University

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Having completed his Ph.D. through the University of Washington's interdisciplinary Individual Ph.D. Program (see bit.ly/uwiphd), Dr. Campbell is now a Postdoctoral Research Associate at Texas Tech University. He currently facilitates an interdisciplinary project entitled "Developing Reflective Engineers through Artful Methods." His scholarly interests include both teaching and research in engineering education, art in engineering, social justice in engineering, care ethics in engineering, humanitarian engineering, engineering ethics, and computer modeling of electric power and renewable energy systems.

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Ngan T.T. Nguyen Texas Tech University

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Ngan Nguyen is a research assistant and doctoral candidate in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction at Texas Tech University. Her research is focused on fostering the learning experiences of Asian international graduate students in higher education.

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Jeong-Hee Kim Texas Tech University

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Jeong-Hee Kim is Chairperson and Professor of Curriculum Studies and Teacher Education in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction at Texas Tech University. Kim is a curriculum theorist, teacher educator, and narrative inquiry methodologist. Her research centers on various epistemological underpinnings of curriculum studies, particularly engaging in hermeneutical excavation of the stories of students and teachers around the notion of Bildung, a human way of developing or cultivating one’s capacity. She received the Faculty Outstanding Researcher Award in 2018 from Texas Tech University, and the Outstanding Publication Award from the American Education Research Association in 2017 for her book, Understanding Narrative Inquiry, published in 2016. She has published numerous articles in journals including Journal of Curriculum Studies, International Journal of Qualitative Studies in Education, and Educational Philosophy and Theory.

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Linda Ann Duke Kansas State University, Marianna Kistler Beach Museum of Art

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Linda Duke has served as Director of the Marianna Kistler Beach Museum of Art since July 2011. Previously, she was Director of Audience Engagement at the Indianapolis Museum of Art (2003-2011), Director of Education at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) Hammer Museum (2000-2003), and Director of Education at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign (UIUC) Krannert Art Museum (1991-2000). She has taught history of art courses at the University of Illinois, Illinois Wesleyan University, and Parkland College. Duke holds BA and MA degrees in the history of art from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, with a graduate specialization in East Asian art history. During the 1997-1998 academic year she was a research fellow at Visual Understanding in Education (VUE), the non-profit that developed the Visual Thinking Strategies (VTS) curriculum, museum teaching protocols, and teacher professional development programs. Duke worked with VTS founders Dr. Abigail Housen and Philip Yenawine, assisting with early research and development of K-12 curricula and teacher training in the late 1990s. She was a pioneer in adapting VTS protocols beyond the K-12 setting, experimenting with its use in medical education and other adult learning programs. She collaborates with science researchers, using VTS to help graduate students become better science communicators, currently in the context of a multi-year NSF-funded EPSCoR project. She currently introduces VTS protocols in workshops on science education, science communication, and deliberative democracy. During the 2018-2019 academic year she was a fellow at the Institute of Civic Discourse and Democracy at Kansas State University.

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Roman Taraban Texas Tech University

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Roman Taraban is Professor in the Department of Psychological Sciences at Texas Tech University. He received his Ph.D. in cognitive psychology from Carnegie Mellon University. His interests are in how undergraduate students learn, and especially, in critical thinking and how students draw meaningful connections in traditional college content materials.

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Danny D. Reible P.E. Texas Tech University Orcid 16x16 orcid.org/0000-0002-3188-9709

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Dr. Danny D. Reible is the Donovan Maddox Distinguished Engineering Chair at Texas Tech University. He was previously the Bettie Margaret Smith Chair of Environmental Health Engineering in the Department of Civil, Architectural and Environmental Engineering and the Director of the Center for Research in Water Resources at the University of Texas in Austin. Dr. Reible holds a Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering from the California Institute of Technology, and is a Board Certified Environmental Engineer, a Professional Engineer (Louisiana), and was elected to the National Academy of Engineering in 2005 for the “development of widely used approaches for the management of contaminated sediments”. His research is focused on the fate, transport, and management of contaminants in the environment and the sustainable management of water resources.

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Abstract

Visual Thinking Strategies (VTS), an educational technique that uses art to foster visual literacy through facilitated group discussion, has been shown to promote the development of skills that transfer to other domains. In this paper, we report findings from our use of VTS in an experimental graduate course in environmental engineering that aims to foster students’ capacities for reflection. Using data from writing samples with methods of thematic analysis, we explore students’ perceptions of their own learning from the VTS portion of this semester-long course called Developing Reflective Engineers through Artful Methods. One significant theme identified was “Knowledge/Skills”, in which students identified specific knowledge gained or skills developed through their VTS experience, including skills of group discussion, listening/ paraphrasing, observation, imagination/creativity, and critical thinking. Another key theme identified was “Appreciating Others’ Perspectives”, in which students expressed appreciation of the differences in perspective that VTS discussions tend naturally to draw out. This finding highlights the potential of VTS as a tool for promoting and supporting diversity in engineering. Based on these data and a brief, associated survey, we learned that students found VTS to be highly effective at helping them become more reflective and was one of the most effective methods we have attempted for the development of reflective thinking in graduate engineering.

Campbell, R. C., & Nguyen, N. T., & Kim, J., & Duke, L. A., & Taraban, R., & Reible, D. D. (2021, July), Visual Thinking Strategies (VTS) for Promoting Reflection in Engineering Education: Graduate Student Perceptions Paper presented at 2021 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access, Virtual Conference. https://peer.asee.org/38032

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